Small Business Technology News

Small Businesses Opt For Technology Over People

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 3/24/2014

Fifth annual Brothers Small Business Survey shows that small businesses believe new technology offers a better return on investment than new hires.

Technology and labor are some of the most important investments a small business can make. But they can also be the most costly. So, when push comes to shove, where do entrepreneurs prefer to spend their money: on new technology or on additional staff hires?

Technology Versus Workers

According to the latest Brother Small Business Survey, it's not a very difficult decision for today's small business owners, with nearly three out of four owners indicating that they would rather allocate budget spend to technology than people.

In a poll of 500 small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, 72 percent said that they believe new technologies provide a greater return on investment than new technologies (28%). Most owners (63%) are intimidated by the sheer volume of technologies available to their companies. But they are evenly split when asked whether investing in technology too quickly or not investing in technology quickly enough poses the bigger risk.

"Our survey shows that while small business owners understand the value of new technologies, they are still a bit overwhelmed and struggle with choosing the right time to adopt them to have the greatest impact on their business," said John Wandishin, VP of marketing at Brother.

Other findings from the survey:

  • Technologies. Leading small business technologies include smartphones and tablets, followed by CRM solutions, social technologies and cloud solutions.
  • Small Business Resources. More than half (59%) of small business owners surveyed said there are insufficient resources for small businesses in their communities; only 17 percent have worked with a small business mentor.
  • Business Owner Stress. The stress level of small business owners dropped for the first time in five years. Only 42 percent of small business owners report feeling highly stressed, compared to 58 percent in 2013.

For small business owners, keeping up with technology is an important part of remaining competitive and profitable. But the decision to hire new staff or purchase new technologies is complex, and should always be addressed in the context of the company's unique needs and objectives.

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